An extra story: The Bee
|Unghaahi and Otenohi on Sanhedhran|
While the commander and Den Asaan were being entertained by Ladrei and the king in the royal parlour, Otenohi and Obhantaa Leraa were walking through the courtyard of the keep. They stopped their slow gait numerous times to admire the unfamiliar trees and budding blooms. They enjoyed the fresh scent of the burgeoning conifers when Otenohi’s attention as suddenly drawn by a peculiar and uncomfortably familiar sight.
On the ground, in one of the small cracks where two of the large stones met, there was a bee lying motionless and quiet. The familiar banded body and number of wings gave Otenohi some distress, as it was generally understood on the islands that any creature with a bright colour was dangerous, but he was further disturbed when he drew closer to it and found the bee to be still alive. It was struggling to stand and his hobbled about, attempting to flap its torn wings in hopes of continuing is important mission of hunting and gathering before its life would be snuffed out. Otenohi stared at the small insect and feelings of great anxiety and dread rushed on him. The memory of the Sanhedhran Gharontaa, the green island wasp that had been fixed in his recollection since he was young, recurred and plagued him as he measure the similarities with the two creatures. The curled shape of the body, the vibrant stripes, the number of arms and legs, the faint buzzing sound, and the presence of the stinger cause the giant inquisitor to prepare his weapon.
Otenohi warned Obhantaa to stand well back from the groveling bee, thinking it to be a great hazard to everyone in the vicinity of the courtyard, and though Otenohi knew he ought to run and find shelter in water as he had done multiple times at home, his need to protect his honoured brother from that which was so terrifying overpowered his fear. Otenohi held his Khaapaboa in his hand prepared to strike when Obhantaa attempted to stop him. The white giant made many entreaties in favor of the bee’s prolonged life but Otenohi would not hear him. His mind was fixed on destroying all those who marked him and the Gharontaa no matter how small the mainland iteration must be razed. He roared as he beat his staff into the crack, pulverizing the bee into a smear of what it once was. Even when only the flattened wings remained, Otenohi would not relent. The sensation of being finally able to seek his revenge on the fabled wasps of the islands was ever-gratifying to him and he grinned with depraved satisfaction to see the object of his horror decimated by his hand.
Obhantaa, however, could not share in his brother’s gratification and resolution. He held his palms to his cheeks in dismay and begged Otenohi to stop, pleading on the bee’s behalf, claiming that it had only wished to be left alone, but his pleas were unheard by the laughing inquisitor. The commotion of this discourse had drawing the attention of the keep and soon the commander, Rautu and Unghaahi all arrived to see Otenohi scrape the bee’s crushed form from the end of his staff. Obhantaa ran to Rautu and cried to him, repeating the horrific events all in one breath. He begged him to ask Otenohi to stop but when the Den Asaan saw the means of Otenohi’s immense triumph, he remarked that Otenohi’s actions were justified.
“He was looking for food in the flowers,” Obhantaa cried on Rautu’s shoulder, holding tight to his brother’s arm. “He was hurt by a Bhontaa flying by that wanted to eat him. He would not have harmed you, Dhirghena. I just wanted to lift him and put him in a safe place.” Obhantaa sobbed on the Den Asaan for a few minutes and though Rautu only acknowledged his appeal with a sigh and a pat on the back, he was soothed in receiving the small gesture of comfort from his brother. He soon moved over to Unghaahi, who was always more disposed to dispense consolation and Obhantaa was held by the immense colossus with care and shushes of adoration to accompany the embrace.
Otenohi had given the bee’s macerated body one last assault and then stood back, examining his work with caution and pride. “You did not tell me there are small Gharontaa on the mainland,” he said to the commander and Den Asaan.
“I daresay there aren’t any now,” the commander said, observing the bee’s dismemberment. “That one was probably an early bloomer. He certainly chose the wrong Haanta to befriend.”
“Why did you kill him, Dhirghena?” Obhantaa sniffed. “He was only hungry.”
“He would have killed me, brother,” Otenohi protested. When Obhantaa hurried over to examine the damage done to the creature, Otenohi held his brother away from the sight. “Do not touch it. They are clever and sometimes they will forge their deaths to deceive their attackers.”
“But he must be buried, Dhirghena.”
“Wait, brother. If it stings you, you will be gravely injured.”
Their debate of morals and wellbeing continued for some time. While the debates between Otenohi and Obhantaa endured, the commander marveled at the fearless inquisitor’s sudden horror over the matter of one small bee. She had been informed of his terror for the gharontaa but she never believed such a vehement dislike would be carried so far.
“I don’t think I have ever seen your brother so afraid,” she murmured to Unghaahi and Rautu.
“He is with good reason, Amhadhri Bhudhiika,” Unghaahi said. “He has been tormented by the Gharontaa numerous times and his fear of being stung was even used against him.”
The commander looked to her mate for an admission of the torture he had lent Otenohi in their youth, but the Den Asaan only looked on with folded arms and a complacent smile.